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The Carolina Hurricanes played four games this week and signed two goaltending prospects to entry-level contracts. Here’s a recap of news and notes from the week.
HURRICANES WIN THREE OF FOUR GAMES
The Hurricanes picked up seven of a possible eight points this week, splitting a series against the Dallas Stars (where their loss came in overtime), before beating both the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets.
CAROLINA CLINCHES PLAYOFF SPOT
With the point the Hurricanes picked up against the Dallas Stars in their overtime loss on Monday, they clinched their spot in the postseason. This marks the first time in franchise history that Carolina has qualified for the playoffs in three straight seasons.
HURRICANES SIGN KOCHETKOV AND MAKINIEMI
The Hurricanes signed two goaltenders to entry-level contracts this week, with both Pyotr Kochetkov and Eetu Makiniemi agreeing to two-year deals, beginning next season. Kochetkov was selected by Carolina with the 36th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, while Makiniemi was drafted in the fourth round in 2017.
UPDATE ON BRIND’AMOUR EXTENSION
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman provided an update on a potential extension for Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, saying that the coach is prioritizing extensions for the rest of the coaching staff, equipment staff and training staff ahead of his own deal. Friedman did note, however, that Brind’Amour is likely to stay put in Carolina.
As for our poll question this week, here are the results, along with my thoughts on how they turned out:
QUESTION: Who would you prefer the Hurricanes face in the first round of the playoffs?
Nashville Predators: 76%
Dallas Stars: 14%
Tampa Bay Lightning: 6%
Florida Panthers: 4%
It’s no surprise to see Nashville being viewed as the most favourable matchup, given the Hurricanes have gone 6-0 against the Predators this season. With the way the standings are shaping up, it looks as though there’s a fairly likely chance this is the matchup we'll end up seeing.
QUESTION: Which of the two goaltending prospects do you think has the better shot at earning a full-time role with the Hurricanes at some point?
Pyotr Kochetkov: 78%
Eetu Makiniemi: 22%
Kochetkov does likely project as having the higher ceiling, though I think both goalies are still at least a year or two away from competing for a spot in the NHL. It will be telling to see how each performs in the AHL, once they make the jump to North America.
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OTHER ARTICLES FROM MAY
Hurricanes sign Pyotr Kochetkov and Eetu Makiniemi